Yesterday the Chancellor Rishi Sunak delivered his Spring Statement amid a worsening cost of living crisis and rocketing fuel prices and, in the MU’s view, failed to adequately meet the challenges being faced by our members.
MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl explains:
“Given the impact of the Covid-19 crisis on musicians, arts organisations and businesses in our industry, we are disappointed not to see more specific targeted support. Our members are facing the cost of living crisis at a time when many have lost the majority of their work and income for two years. Reserves are low. We remain concerned about businesses folding and musicians leaving the industry. We will be calling for better funding and support going forward to ensure a long term, stable future for the arts in the U.K.”
The Chancellor’s headline measures were:
- A cut in fuel duty by 5p per litre, lasting until March 2023.
- Zero VAT for home owners installing energy saving equipment like heat pumps and solar panels.
- Doubling the household support fund to 1 billion pounds. This fund is distributed by local authorities.
- Raising the earnings threshold at which National Insurance is paid to the same level as Income Tax (£12,570)
Although some of these measures will benefit members, given the extra income that the Government in now making thanks to inflation we were hoping to see more and we will continue to pressure Ministers to take further action, including some of UK Music’s asks such as delaying the rise of VAT on gig tickets.
The increase in fuel prices and the cost of living are a great source of uncertainty for many people right now. If you are concerned how this may impact your work as a musician, please reach out to Citizens Advice, Help Musicians UK or your Regional Office.